09 SES 07 B, Measuring Competencies in Academic and Vocational Education
For several years, OECD and EU – besides several different initiatives – have been claiming that 1) financial knowledge of citizens is substantial for social and political participation, and for individual (material) well-being (e.g., OECD, 2005) and that 2) a sense of entrepreneurship is a key competence in modern societies (e.g., EU, 2007). In our conception, both topics are subsets of economic education. Despite forced efforts of the above-mentioned organizations to strengthen economic education, neither of these specific topics nor economic education in general are represented in the curricula of most countries as proper school domain. This is probably one of the reasons why little is known about the economic competences of school students. Previous assessments tested general textbook knowledge. The only specific survey of financial competences was conducted as part of the PISA 2012 assessment (OECD, 2014a), but Germany, like several other countries, did not participate. Moreover, even PISA narrowed down financial competences to personal literacy and neglected societal well-being and participation as consequences.
Our assessment of economic competences comprises the broader field of economic education and refers to a competence model developed by one of the presenters and co-authors (Retzmann, Seeber, Remmele, & Jongebloed, 2010). Since its first publication, it was presented at various conferences and adapted for the special topic of financial education (Retzmann & Seeber, forthcoming). We will outline this model in our presentation.
The focus will be the framework of our large-scale assessment and its first results. In April/May 2016 we will conduct a survey in the federal state of Baden-Württemberg with about 2.500 school students. It will test competences in the following fields: economic decisions and planning, knowledge about and consideration of interests and motivation of other people in economic situations, and economic system and order. The selection of schools and of grade will allow us to draw conclusions on 1) differences between students of different secondary school forms, 2) competence development in relation to grade , and 3) differences between students with and without specific lessons in economics. One important overall result will be the differentiation of different competence levels by identifying structures of students’ performance. Finally, our objective is to develop a tool for assessing economic competences that will be independent of school systems and thus transferable to other countries.
At the same time, we will survey students’ attitudes to selected economic phenomena (see below) in order to elicit correlations between competences and attitudes. The planned increase of our survey to a longitudinal study will investigate the effect of attitudes on competences and vice versa, and give additional insights about the development of economic competences over a period of four years.
The forthcoming presentation in Dublin focus on
1) an approximate outline of the underlying competence model,
2) providing deeper insights into the development of test items including examples as well as development and assessment framework process, and
3) first results regarding competence levels, school level differences and grade differences.
Ebel, R. L. & Frisbie, D. A. (1991). Essentials of educational measurement (5th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. EU European Parliament and Council. (2007). Key competences for lifelong learning. European reference framework. Luxembourg: European Communities. Monseur, C., Baye, A., Lafontaine, D., & Quittre, V. (2011). PISA test format assessment and the local independence assumption. Ieri Monographs Series. Issues and Methodologies in Large-Scale assessments, 4, 131–158. OECD. (2005). Improving financial literacy: Analysis of issues and policies. Paris, France: OECD. OECD. (2014a). PISA 2012 Results: Students and money. Financial literacy skills for the 21st century. Volume VI. Paris, France: OECD. OECD. (2014b). PISA 2012 Technical Report. Paris, France: OECD. Retzmann, T. & Seeber, G. (Forthcoming). Financial education in general education schools: A competence model. In: Aprea, C, Breuer, K., & Davies, P. (Eds.) First international handbook on financial literacy. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer. Retzmann, T., Seeber, G., Remmele, B., & Jongebloed, H.-C. (2010). Educational standards for economic education at all types of general-education schools in Germany. www.uni-koblenz-landau.de/landau/fb6/sowi/iww/team/Professoren/seeber/EducationalStandards. Accessed 29 December 2015. Schmitz, C. (2012). LimeSurvey: An open source survey tool. Hamburg, Germany. Retrieved from www.limesurvey.org. Wright, B. D. & Linacre, J. M. (1994). Reasonable mean-square fit values. Rasch Measurement Transactions, 8 (3), 370.
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